Himalayan Journal vol.35
The Himalayan Journal
Vol.35

Publication year:
1979

Editor:
Soli S. Mehta
Index
  1. EDITORIAL
  2. THE STORY OF THE HIMALAYAN CLUB, 1928-1978
    (JOHN MARTYN)
  3. FIFTY YEARS RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT
    (TREVOR BRAHAM)
  4. THE PASSANRAM AND TALUNG VALLEYS, SIKKIM
    (DR EUGEN ALLWEIN)
  5. NANDA DEVI AND THE SOURCES OF THE GANGES
    (H. W. TILMAN)
  6. THE MOUNT EVEREST RECONNAISSANCE, 1935
    (ERIC SHIPTON)
  7. THE SHAKSGAM EXPEDITION, 1937
    (MICHAEL SPENDER)
  8. GANGOTRI TRIANGULATION
    (Major GORDON OSMASTON)
  9. EVEREST, 1976
    (MAJOR M. W. H. DAY, R.E.)
  10. LHOTSE, 1976
    (KANJI KAMEI)
  11. THE SECOND ASCENT OF LHOTSE, 1977
    (DR HERMANN WARTH)
  12. MAKALU, 1976
    (ANDERS BOUNDER & OTHERS)
  13. THE CLEAN-UP TREK, 1976
    (MICHAEL CORDELL)
  14. THE THIRD KOREAN MANASLU EXPEDITION, 1976
    (JUNG SUP KIM)
  15. THE HONGKONG KANJIROBA EXPEDITION, 1976
    (DICK ISHERWOOD)
  16. AVALANCHE ON SISNE, 1977
    (R. A. L. ANDERSON)
  17. DHAULAGIRI IV, 1975
    (KUNIAKI YAGIHARA)
  18. NORTH SIKKIM, 1976
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  19. NANDA DEVI FROM THE NORTH, 1976
    (H. ADAMS CARTER)
  20. NANDA DEVI SANCTUARY - A NATURALIST'S REPORT
    (LAVKUMAR KHACHER)
  21. A BOTANICAL SURVEY IN THE NANDA DEVI SANCTUARY, 1974
    (N. C. SHAH)
  22. AN ATTEMPT ON NITALTHAUR, 1974
    (MANIK BANERJEE)
  23. CHAMRAO GLACIER EXPEDITION-1977
    (M. DEY)
  24. CHIRING WE, 1977
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  25. KINNAUR-1976
    (LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALWANT SANDHU)
  26. BLACK PEAK, 1976
    (MANDIP SINGH SOIN)
  27. NILAMBAR EXPEDITION, 1977
    (RANVIR SINGH)
  28. POLISH K2 EXPEDITION, 1976
    (JANUSZ KURCZAB)
  29. A CRAWL DOWN THE OGRE
    (DOUG SCOTT)
  30. ISTOR-O-NAL NORTH I, 1976
    (RONALD NAAR)
  31. THE ASCENT OF SHERPI KANGRP 1976
    (PROF. KAZUMASA HIRAI)
  32. AFGHAN DARWAZ, 1975
    (RYSSZARD W. SCHRAMM)
  33. SWISS THUI EXPEDITION, 1975
    (DR ADOLF DIEMBERGER and HANS SCHIBLI)
  34. CLIMBING SHERPAS OF DARJEELING
    (DORJEE LHATOO)
  35. OF MOUNTAINS & MEMORIES
    (SITU MULLICK)
  36. EXPEDITIONS AND NOTES
  37. OBITUARIES
  38. BOOK REVIEWS
  39. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  40. CLUB PROCEEDINGS, 1976
  41. EXPEDITIONS 1975-1977

MAKALU, 1976

ANDERS BOUNDER & OTHERS

The Second Czechoslovak Expedition to Makalu 1976 The Spanish Himalaya Expedition 1976

(This article has been compiled, from accounts submitted by Jan Cervinka and Jose M. Montfort, with the help of Anders Bolinder (who in turn was assisted in the Czech translation by Vlastik Smida) .

FOR THE FIRST TIME the Nepal Government had given two parties permission to climb the same mountain-Makalu- at the same time (pre-monsoon 1976)-to the Czechoslovak party by the SW. pillar (which leads to the SE. peak at 8010 m) and to a Spanish team from the Centro Excursionista Comarca de Bages (Manresa) by the SE. ridge.

The Czechs established their Base Camp at the foot of the SW. pillar and quickly followed up with Camps 1, 2 and 3 more or less in the same places as their 1973 expedition (they attempted the same route). Then, snowfalls and bad weather set in for a week damaging all camps. The work had to start all over again. This time Camp 3 was an excavated snow cave. Camp 5 was pitched at 7850 m and on 6 May Sylva Talla and Vlado Petrik attempted the SE. summit (8010 m) from there. By noon they had overcome the last obstacle, a 30-m high rock wall at about 7950 m. At 1.30 p.m. they stood on the summit. The SW. pillar is now named the CSSR-Pillar and has been accomplished with the second ascent of the SE. summit (first climbed by the Japanese in 1970).

Petrik developed frostbite on his toes during the descent and was treated by the doctor of the Spanish expedition before being sent down to Kathmandu.

The Czechs then prepared for the main summit intending to follow the same route as the Japanese (1970) above Pt. 8010. Camp 5 was sited at about 7950 m on the saddle between the main and SE. summits.

The day (21 May) that Orolin and Talla started from Camp 6 for the main summit, another ascent of the SE. summit was made by Jan Cervinka and Ivan Fiala who reached the top in excellent weather at 9.30 a.m. But they were disappointed to see Orolin and Talla return from about 8200 m (where there is a critical passage). As supplies at the high camps were getting short, both teams descended together.

Meanwhile the Spaniards had been making progress on the SE. ridge. After the bad weather period they managed to rework their way to Camp 4 at 7240 m on 14 May. The lower camps were at about 5500 m (Camp 1), 6000 m (Camp 2) and 6600 m (Camp 3). Around the time of the Czech attempt on the main summit, the Spanish expedition found most of its members ill or over-fatigued by their exertions with the establishment of the camps.

The two expeditions agreed to join forces. The second summit attempt would include one of the two Spanish climbers along with the three Czechs and they would join forces at Camp 6 on the saddle. The summit team would then descend by the SE. ridge which was easier for tired climbers and where support will be available.

Camp 6, by then, had been pushed a little higher up to 8200 m. On the night of 23-24 May it was occupied by Orolin, Krissak, Schubert and Jorge Camprubi (from Spain). Next morning they started for the summit.

After the traverse of about 200 m at 8300 m, they reached the W. ridge of the French 1971 route. Just above this point they found old fixed ropes from both the French and Japanese expeditions on a 40-metre rock-wall which they negotiated. At this stage Orolin had to withdraw because of a defect in his oxygen apparatus At 4.30 p.m. Krissak, Schubert and Camprubi stood on the summit-the 5th ascent of the peak, first ascent by the SW. pillar, second ascent along the SE. ridge. Now starts the tragedy.

The three tired climbers seemed to have been descending on their own. Krissak, the fittest, managed to reach Camp 6 by 7 p.m. having lost contact with the others. Camprubi arrived at 10 p.m. but Schubert who was slow even on the ascent did not show up at all, and a storm raged outside. Next morning they could hear him answering their shouts but after that even this contact was lost-most likely having slipped down the S. face in his exhausted condition.

The two following days were spent in searching for him; meanwhile Orolin developed thrombosis and all the combined energy was spent on getting him down safely to Base, Kathmandu and finally to Prague (along with Talla who was struck with kidney trouble during his descent).

Teams

Spanish : Jose M. Montfort (leader). Dr Amando Redondo, Antonio Bahi, Jorge Camprubi, Enrique Bonastre, Juan Frentera, Jose Lleonart, Ramon Majo, Juan Lleonart, Jorge Vinyoli, Antonio Llasera, Jose Salvans and Franz Anton Ludwig.

Czech: Ivan Galfy (leader), Dr. Jaromir Wolf (deputy leader), Jan Cervinka, Michal Orolin, Milan Krissak, Joseph P'sotka, Sylva Talla, Vlado Petrik and Karel Schubert.

Makalu, showing the Spanish route.

Makalu, showing the Spanish route.